Dinner Walk & Theatre

The Willamette River flows north through the Valley roughly parallel I-5, and after making the turns near the Falls at Oregon City, moves through Portland before joining the Columbia on its way to the Pacific Ocean, but no worries, this isn’t going to be a geography lesson. After passing under the Sellwood Bridges (there are…

A New Denouement Comes to The Eidolon

A moon rose pure placebo the day the dismantlers came to The Eidolon. A puppeteer hidden in a hard hat worked sticks and wires from a crane, his rude yellow wrecking ball a scraping bald knuckle -hyphenating- the yore tony a la mode pink marquee: – I D – – O N They hadn’t seen…

Breaking Bad in Stromboli

I walked down to meet Susan on Hawthorne late afternoon but arrived early and when I passed Nick’s and noticed baseball on the screen I ducked in to wait at the bar for a text asking my whereabouts. I ordered a glass of milk and a coffee chaser and the bartender asked me if this…

Satisfactus: “Charlie is My Darling”

The new, old Rolling Stones film, “Charlie Is My Darling,” played at Portland’s Hollywood Theatre this past weekend, and we joined a mellow crowd of folks carrying beers and popcorn into the main auditorium, most of us probably able to claim that we had been raised on the Stones. The Rolling Stones of 1965 were…

Don DeLillo’s “Point Omega”: alt novel

Don DeLillo’s “Point Omega” is an alternative novel. At 117 pages, it’s the idea of a novel. We are not in Dickensland. The book’s structure, or frame, is divided into a story of four chapters, with a kind of foreword that tells a different story not completed until the afterword – so six parts. We…

Now Playing at Plato’s Cave: “The Reel World”

Plato opened the first movie theatre, the audience chained to seats, unable to see the projectionist, and there were no refreshments or intermissions. You really had to be a movie buff to enjoy a film at Plato’s Cave. McLuhan (Understanding Media, 1964) explained that we must be trained to see movies, for “movies assume a…

Plato, Pablo, and the Poetics of Health Care

Plato considered poets dangerous and banned them from his Republic, and Il Postino (1994) illustrates his point, yet also shows that we are all poets, all who use language – to love and berate, to tackle and persuade, to testify and exhort. The movie, from the book Burning Patience, by Antonio Skarmeta, a fiction set…

Breakfast at Beckett’s

In their engagement of the studies referenced on the declining level of happiness of Americans, Becker-Posner begin to wrestle with the difficulty of quantifying for economics study human behavior as a market influence. Late last night, after class, happy with a bowl of homemade chocolate ice cream, I flipped on Breakfast at Tiffany’s, on the…

Walt Whitman, McTeague, and We Go to the Movies

Having established our ethos to write film reviews (prior experience in the film industry as an usher for a few weeks at the Paradise Theatre in Los Angeles), and having surveyed the literature (from reviewers and neuroscientists), and synthesizing the results (two thumbs up; two down) on the most recent blockbuster, “Avatar,” and dispatching our…

Jerry Lewis at the Paradise

I was working in the film industry; I had a job as an usher at the Paradise theatre in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. The Paradise lobby swept up and curved away from the entrance and concession bar with deep, plush carpet. On the curved, floor-to-ceiling, wood-paneled wall hung commemorative Oscar plaques. In the…

Theo Jansen and Advanced “Avatar”

Caleb Crain, we learned yesterday, prefers movies that are true to nature, acoustic. He’s more interested in the Carny than the ride, while David Denby prefers the roller coaster, ignoring the Carny, and if he doesn’t have to leave the theatre for the ride, even better. Johnny Meah’s act wouldn’t make much of a movie…

Crain, Denby, Dylan and the Avatar of Health Care

“Now there’s nothing wrong with technology per se, and there’s nothing wrong with fantasy, either,” Caleb Crain offers at the end of his Avatar movie review (posted both on his blog and at n+1). And there’s nothing wrong with corporations, per se, either, he might have added, for, in any case, are not many of…